THE LEADER of a community action group is urging the borough’s planning committee to give the green light to turn a disused quarry at Austerlands into quality new homes.
Locals believed the community would be blighted when planning permission was granted for tipping operations at Birks Quarry off the main A62 Oldham-Huddersfield Road.
Despite opposition by Oldham Council and residents, the application was granted on appeal and a subsequent appeal gave approval for access to heavy tipping traffic.
But now the six-acre site could be developed into a variety of 40 properties ranging from two to five bedroomed luxury homes in the bottom of the disused quarry.
And at a public consultation at The Three Crowns Inn last month a stream of locals and councillors got a glimpse of the plans.
Robert Knotts, Saddleworth Parish councilor and chair of the Birks Quarry Action Group, said: “The proposed housing scheme in Birks Quarry is very welcome.
“The openness of the session gave residents an opportunity to present their views, concerns and suggestions with respect to the project.
“Overall there was a sense houses are very much preferred to a sustained future where a permit to tip in the quarry exists.
“In this case, Oldham’s planning committee must support local concerns and allow the building project to overcome green belt considerations.”
Karen Donald, a local resident and member of the Birks Quarry Action group, added: “I am much happier with the residential development than with a tip.”
And Saddleworth Parish councilor Nikki Kirkham hailed the plans for the range of new two, three and four-bed houses in the area.
She said: “There is a shortage of housing in the borough and this sort of development is most welcome.
“The approach to the site seems a point of issue with certain residents but I’m sure all of their points can be addressed.”
Councillor Dave Hibbert, Oldham Council’s Cabinet Member for Housing, Planning and Transport, said: “I was delighted to be at the public consultation and to see it attracted a high level of interest.
“It is always best practice to get input from local residents before the submission of any planning application to take views on board.
“I look forward to seeing the final proposals in the near future, ” he added.